Cape Town

Jan Ernst de Wet


Jan Ernst is a multidisciplinary creative based in Cape Town, who specialises in art and design. His work is influenced by his fascination with natural structures such as coral, fungi and cave-like formations. The collectable designs have evolved into functional art and sculptural furniture expressed through ceramics.

Jan's work takes on an experimental approach as he prefers making bespoke pieces himself by hand his organic design stems from his abstract understanding of form and space and deep connection with the natural world. He aims to create conversation by awkward negative spaces and voids in the pieces while bringing people together with the functionality of his work.

"I see the negative, or leftover space, around it and I think of ways to use texture and pattern to emphasise and celebrate the form rather than a decorative application."

The techniques and methods are as organic as the work itself, which he creates through coiling and pinching the clay into the shapes. Once Jan is satisfied with the overall shape, he then applies texture by carving into the clay. Most of the work is created with either Terra Cotta or Buff Stoneware. All the clay has paper mixed into it, making it a lot more forgiving and workable.